Nuclear Research Advisory Council The recruitment and selection of four Members

Body: Nuclear Research Advisory Council (NRAC)
Appointing Department: Ministry of Defence
Sectors: Defence, Science & Technology
Location: London and the South East
Skills required: International Experience, Major Projects
Number of Vacancies: 4
Remuneration: £380 per day, plus reasonable expenses for travel and subsistence.
Time Requirements: Up to 20 days per year


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Three new members have been appointed to the Nuclear Research Advisory Council for a period of 3 years from 4th October 2021 to 3rd October 2024.

Date: 10/11/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


Vacancy Description

Position: Four Members of the Nuclear Research Advisory Council

The Nuclear Research Advisory Council (NRAC) advises on the UK’s ability to design, certify, manufacture and support an effective and reliable nuclear stockpile in the context of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This includes assessments of effectiveness, resilience and efficiency in terms of:

  • The UK Warhead programme ·
  • The technical capabilities and resources required to support Warhead-related activities
  • Strategic arrangements and planning
  • Collaboration with industry, academia, government and international allies

The Council consists of a Chair, a number of Members, and a Secretariat. A variety of technical skills and expertise is required across the Council to enable effective coverage of the Council’s Terms of Reference. The Council’s strategic direction and work programme are reviewed annually by the Chair with input from Members.

Members of the NRAC have a collective responsibility for the operation of the Council. They are expected to apply independent intellectual rigour in support of the NRAC work programme. To carry out its work programme, the Council has mandate to hold meetings with Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), and other associated agencies and bodies to conduct reviews, receive presentations, attend facility tours, and participate in other activities related to the Terms of Reference. NRAC outputs are delivered in the form of written reports and letters, supplemented with meetings and briefings with stakeholders. In supporting the Council, Members are expected to:

  • Support development of the NRAC work programme by identifying topics for review (understanding the strategic aim, and why those topics are important), what the key questions are and what part of the UK Warhead programme they affect.
  • Contribute to NRAC’s Annual Report and other written outputs and briefings.
  • Engage fully in collective consideration of the issues, taking account of the full range of relevant factors, including any guidance issued by the sponsor department or the responsible minister.
  • Comply at all times with the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies and with the rules relating to the use of public funds and to conflicts of interest.
  • Respond appropriately to complaints, if necessary, with reference to the sponsor department.
  • Ensure that the Council does not exceed its powers or functions

The Council is assisted by MOD officials, including the Defence Nuclear Organisation (DNO) who act as the sponsor department and provide the Secretariat.

NRAC formally reports through the Chair to the MOD Chief Scientific Adviser (Nuclear) (CSA(N), MOD Director Warhead (and Senior Responsible Owner (SRO)), DG Nuclear and other senior MOD officials as necessary, and has formal access via CSA(N) to the Secretary of State (SofS) to whom the Council is accountable.

The MOD is looking to appoint four new Members to the NRAC with expertise in the areas of:


  1. Nuclear Materials


  1. Nuclear, Plasma or high pressure Physics


  1. Nuclear Manufacturing


  1. Weapons Engineering


Person Specification

Candidates for all posts will need to demonstrate the following essential criteria:

  • Experience of operating as a member of a senior Board or Committee, with an understanding of corporate collegial behaviour and the ability to provide constructive challenge and independent judgement.
  • Strong analytical skills with ability to contribute to complex interdisciplinary discussions and make balanced recommendations across the range of technical areas within the Council’s remit.
  • Strong leadership and communication skills with the ability to communicate within a complex and specialist multidisciplinary team and to generate trust and confidence in a wide range of stakeholders.


We are also looking for candidates for all posts who meet the following desirable criteria:

  • An understanding of the UK’s submarine based nuclear deterrent.
  • An understanding of the MOD acquisition lifecycle (e.g. CAMID cycle Concept, Assessment, Demonstration, Manufacture, In-Service and Disposal), especially in relation to long-lifetime capability delivery.
  • An understanding of nuclear safety issues.
  • Knowledge of health and safety issues, preferably in the workplace.


 Candidates should also additionally demonstrate the following essential criteria specific to the post they wish to apply for:

 Member – Nuclear Materials

The candidate should be an eminent scientist or engineer with a detailed knowledge of nuclear materials.


Essential Criteria

  • You will have an understanding of the fundamental behaviours of nuclear materials in engineered and environmental systems including characterisation, corrosion and ageing.
  • You will have an understanding of nuclear material processing techniques.
  • You will have an understanding of nuclear material safe storage and disposal.
  • You will be able to provide evidence of professional standing in the field of nuclear materials research.


  1. Member – Physics

The candidate should be an eminent scientist with a detailed knowledge of nuclear, plasma or high pressure physics.

 Essential Criteria:

 You will have had a distinguished career in physics research gained in either in academia or industry.

  • You will have a detailed understanding of how materials react and change when subjected to extremes of temperature, density and pressure.
  • You will have a knowledge of experimental, modelling and simulation techniques available for characterising the behaviour of materials and systems under extreme conditions.
  • You will have an understanding of the fundamental physics relevant to nuclear weapons.


  1. Member – Nuclear Manufacturing

 The candidate should be an eminent engineer or technologist in the field of nuclear manufacturing.


Essential Criteria:

  • You will be a recognised authority in the area of nuclear manufacturing.
  • You will have a detailed understanding of the principals and philosophy of manufacturing undertaken in a highly regulated environment.
  • You will have direct experience in the enduring production and manufacture of bespoke, small volume, high value products.
  • You will have a thorough understanding of the principles associated with high hazard production and manufacture.
  • You will have experience of the requirements of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and/or Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR).


  1. Member – Weapons Engineering

The candidate should be a professional engineer or scientist with a detailed knowledge of weapons engineering and technology.

 Essential Criteria:

  • You will be a recognised authority in the area of weapons engineering and technology.
  • You will have significant experience as a senior weapons engineer in the design and manufacture of missiles, rocketry, or similar ground/air/space systems.
  • You will have a detailed knowledge of the design of complex weapons systems and their constituents, including warheads, propulsion and their safety and initiation systems.
  • You will have a knowledge of warhead materials including their modes of failure.

You will have experience in high technology engineering and development

How to Apply

If you wish to apply for one of these appointments, please supply the following:

  • A CV (maximum two sides A4, minimum font 12) setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications.
  • A short supporting statement in the Expression of Interest form (see below) (maximum two sides A4, minimum font 12) explaining how you meet the essential and desirable criteria.  Make sure you refer to the contents of this information pack and provide specific examples which demonstrate proven and demonstrable expertise or ability.  Please ensure your full name and the reference number are clearly stated at the top of your CV and additional papers.
  • Complete the Expression of Interest form including your supporting statement; contact details for two referees and any conflict of interest (see further information below and Annex B).
  • Complete and return via email the Diversity Monitoring form, including stating any political activity.
  • Note References will be taken up if candidates are invited to an interview.  You should ensure that they have given their permission for their names to be used.
  • If you are applying under the Disable Confident Scheme you will need to meet the minimum criteria for the role as determined by the AAP at sift.  This will guarantee an invite to an interview.  To ensure fairness, the AAP will not be informed of who has applied under the GIS until they have set the minimum criteria at the start of the sift meeting. Please complete the Disable Confident scheme declaration form.
  • If you have a disability and require reasonable adjustments to enable you to attend for interview, please advise us when you return your application
  • Please note: Defence Business Services is currently operating with minimal staff in their offices, if you unable to apply online please contact Defence Business Services ( or telephone 0300 1566377)
38991_NRAC_Campaign information pack March 2021
38991_ Disable Confident Scheme Declaration
38991_Diversity Monitoring Form - word version
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